This content was written by Victoria Christie, Girlboss in partnership with Nudestix.
Taylor Frankel’s love for all things beauty is ingrained in her DNA—literally. Her mom, Jenny Frankel, was a product developer at M.A.C. Cosmetics long before Taylor and her younger sister, Ally, were born. Then, when they were crawling around in diapers, Jenny co-founded Cover FX. “You can call my sister and I beauty babies,” says Taylor. “I’ve always grown up in the beauty industry. My mom would always bring her work home.” Lipstick cases, blush palettes and tubes of mascara were their version of LEGO sets, Beanie Babies and American Girl dolls. “My mom, she always thought we’d end up in the industry because she thought we’d become obsessed with makeup and cosmetics, but it was actually the opposite that brought us into the industry.”
The sisters were all about the “no-makeup” makeup look, and they had trouble finding easy-to-use, natural-looking products you could use on the go. And thus, in 2014, when Taylor was 17 and Ally was 14, the three Frankel women launched Nudestix, a line of cruelty-free, sustainable, vegan products that are meant to enhance your natural beauty. “To have partners and co-founders that you can grow a business with and that always have your best interest in mind is truly a blessing,” says the now-25-year-old Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer. Nudestix launched their minimalist skincare sister brand Nudeskin in 2020 and have recently unveiled their Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30 sunscreen which is a mineral, non-nano zinc oxide, reef safe formulation. It’s undetectable under your foundation, super lightweight and fast absorbing. Basically, the dream SPF. “Sunscreen is such an integral part of our routine. It’s the last step in your skincare routine and the first step in your makeup routine,” says Taylor. Nudestix also has some exciting influencer collaborations coming up this year…
While the brand was still in its early stages, Taylor decided to go to business school at Ryerson University. “I love beauty, I love the industry, but I really wanted those tangible business skills,” she says. But as the brand started to grow and launch globally, Taylor had to make a tough decision between staying in school or joining the family business full time. A mentor at the time told her: “Your education and accounting will always be there; this opportunity with Nudestix may not be.” And so, she put school on hold and has never looked back since.
Taylor has amassed 49K followers on Instagram and now serves as a spokesperson for the brand, making tutorials on YouTube, TikTok and Insta showing off the versatility of Nudestix’s products. She also leads the creative direction of the brand and oversees marketing, PR and social. Oh, and her mom is the CEO. (Ally has since taken a step back from the business to go to medical school and pursue her love of dermatology.)
When asked what lessons she’s learned being in business with family, Taylor said, like any relationship, communication is key. “We’re very transparent with one another. In order to ensure that my business relationship doesn’t tarnish my personal relationship with my mother, I need to be able to communicate my needs effectively without thinking that she’s just going to read my mind. Taylor has also let go of finding perfect work-life balance. “When we’re at the dinner table, at home with my family, we talk about our day. Our day is work. It is becoming more difficult to really separate the two,” she says. And maybe that’s ok.
After all, Taylor has gone through what most entrepreneurs encounter in their lifetime, being a co-founder from the age of 17. “Having the confidence to know what you don’t know is extremely important or else you can’t grow as a company. Confidence comes from not only saying yes, but saying no,” says Taylor. “I [also] used to think that, from a time and energy perspective, your output had to match your input. I just need to work smarter rather than harder, so if I need to delegate something, then I need to delegate something, rather than taking it on myself.”
With so many brands launching through social media and small businesses going viral overnight, there’s less of a barrier to entry now, according to Taylor. When Nudestix launched, this wasn’t really a thing. “You needed a really large budget to launch a new business, where now not as much,” she says. Taylor also says there’s less of a stigma with young entrepreneurs. “There’s a really special community of young entrepreneurs who support each other, which didn’t exist back then,” she says. For example, Thirteen Lune is an incubator for Black-owned beauty brands and also allied brands (like Nudestix), which helps with brand awareness. “Having that community to lean on and to communicate with and to support… I wish I had that.”
Now, Taylor is the business-savvy older sister to other young entrepreneurs—something that her mom was in the 90s and early aughts (and still is to this day). Talk about a full-circle moment.
Who are you inspired by?
My mother, who continues to find a way to balance and do it all, whether it’s as a business partner, as a mother, as a friend. I’ve been able to also have her as my mentor over the years which has been a really amazing experience.
How do you unplug from work?
My skincare routine is how I unwind. I make myself some tea, and then I light a candle and put some music on. I’m really intentional with the time I spend with every step. Obviously, I can’t do that every single day—some mornings I’m just throwing things on—but when I have those evenings to myself, that’s what I do.
How many unread emails do you have right now?
870 (which causes me a lot of anxiety)
What do you look for in an employee?
It sounds very cliché, but passion. It is so rare to find people who are as passionate as you are about your company. It’s also really important to find someone who is willing to put in the work, especially early on.
Best piece of advice?
As an entrepreneur, as a founder, you really think you need to perfect every part of your business. There’s a difference between knowing what is going on in your business versus being an expert in every single part of your business. Identify the things that you love. You can determine where you want to be an expert, and then fill in the gaps.
Worst piece of advice?
There are so many brands and so many people that will come along the way and tell you to switch gears or to shift your mission based on something that’s trending or seasonality or what is hot at the moment, but you need to be really focused on what you feel. Anybody who has experience will try and give you their two cents, but you know your brand better than anybody else.